Portable toilets have undergone a considerable evolution since the inception of outhouses and other varieties of outdoor plumbing facilities. Those first outhouses were no more than permanent or semi-permanent structures placed over dugout pits, which either had to be periodically emptied, or an entirely new pit had to be dug and the structure moved along with it.
Portable Bathroom Evolution
The earliest portable toilets can be traced back to the 1940’s, on the ship building yards in Long Beach, California. One of the shipbuilders quickly recognized the growing costs and lack of productivity his team faced with every trip back to the dock to use the restroom. Rather than continue the delay in work, they decided to build temporary bathrooms right on the ships to help keep everyone satisfied. Using spare parts on the job crews built wooden cabanas outfitted with a small holding tank, and thus the first portable toilet was born.
Unfortunately, the weight of these toilets left little in terms of flexibility for construction companies and event planners. Even worse, the early wooden or metal cabanas easily absorbed odors and were hard to keep clean. Eventually these clumsy bulky structures gave way to plastic structures made of strong lightweight polymers, then the 1970’s saw the rise of the one-piece fiberglass unit.
While the fiberglass units solved the problem of flexibility, they still failed to fight off the odors and sanitary issues of their wooden and metal counterparts. By the 1980’s plastics became the prefered material for porta potties and portable restrooms. Mostly made of polyurethane, these plastic portable toilet units were by far the easiest to clean and transport. In years since, plastic has remained the preferred material for many sanitation solution providers, and special cleaning agents have been developed to have portable toilets looking and smelling better than ever before.
Common Misconceptions About the Porta John
- They’re Smelly and Unsanitary
One of the most common complaints and misconceptions about portable bathrooms is that they’re just smelly and unhygienic. This perception is largely due to commonly-held notions about the most basic portable units, which have the sanitary tank positioned directly below the toilet seat, in plain view. Luxury portable restrooms have flushing toilets, which keep all the nasty details out of sight from users.
- Hands Can’t Be Washed
Many people are turned off by the fact that there is no way to wash hands after a visit to the portable bathroom, giving rise to concerns for hygiene. Even some of today’s more basic units are equipped with hand sanitizer pumps mounted on the inside walls so that patrons can wash after a visit. At more refined events, like weddings, hand-washing stations can be set up right alongside the portable bathrooms so that users can wash their hands with soap, if they so desire.
- Unsuitable for Classy Events
Nothing could be further from the truth, especially since modern luxury portable bathrooms can provide nearly the same kind of experience that an indoor bathroom allows for. The misconception about unfitness largely stems from the fact that portable bathrooms used for huge events like concerts and fairs are nearly impossible to keep clean and sanitary due to over-use and the careless attitude of throngs of users.
- Portable Bathrooms Harm the Environment
This may be the most incorrect of all myths associated with portable bathrooms, since in point of fact the opposite is true, and your home bathroom is really more harmful to the environment than its portable cousin. Portable bathrooms use considerably less freshwater – to the tune of 13 million gallons per day – so far less resources are being consumed.
- Portable Bathrooms Are Too Expensive
Of course, there is a cost associated with renting portable bathrooms for any kind of event where outdoor facilities will be required. But the actual solution to this is somewhat counter-intuitive, in that renting more units becomes far more cost-effective for an event organizer, because users will spend less time in long lines waiting to use the bathrooms.
When patrons at the fair or the concert are not spending so much time waiting to use the bathroom, they are free to spend more money on concessions, souvenirs, and whatever other items are for sale by event vendors.
The Truth About Portable Bathrooms
The real truth about portable bathrooms and modern bathroom trailers is that they can actually be very sanitary units, as long as they are not abused at high-volume events like concerts, where little consideration is given to hygiene by hundreds or thousands of users.
Luxury portable bathrooms are available at affordable prices, and can be as clean or cleaner than the bathroom right in your home. In fact the cleanliness of modern portable bathrooms, just like the cleanliness of your home bathroom, relies much more on the attitude of users than any inadequacy of the unit itself. Portable toilet rentals today are a much better solution than they were 10 or 20 years ago, and the myths from earlier years now have little relevance.
No matter what your sanitation needs are, you can count on the professionals at Mr. John to have you covered. Our expansive fleet of portable toilet units includes everything from basic toilet rentals to full-scale luxury portable restrooms to help you choose just the right sanitation solution for your event. Don’t let poor sanitation planning come between your event and success, get started accommodating for all your event needs and contact Mr. John today!